Our semifinal hopes are almost over: Sangakkara

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/s/sangakkara1.jpg' class='caption'> Kings XI Punjab skipper Kumar Sangakkara conceded that his side's semifinal hopes in the Indian Premier League virtually ended after losing to RCB.

Updated: April 03, 2010 11:34 IST
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Kings XI Punjab skipper Kumar Sangakkara conceded that his side's semifinal hopes in the Indian Premier League virtually ended after Friday's six-wicket defeat at the hands of Royal Challengers Bangalore in Mohali.

"Our semifinal hopes are almost over. But we would like to win as many remaining matches," he said after his side's six-wicket defeat, their seventh in eight matches, at the hands of RCB.

Sangakkara, however, refused to blame fast bowler Brett Lee who leaked 25 runs in the 17th over for his side's loss. "It can happen to any bowler at the death overs. Lee tried really hard for the team but unfortunately he conceded a lot of runs," he said.

The Sri Lankan captain said his players failed to perform consistently and that was the reason why his side fared poorly in IPL III.

"We have some players coming up with good performances but only in patches. We lacked consistency and it was a collective failure," he said.

Man-of-the-match Kevin Pietersen was delighted that he had helped RCB win in only his second match of IPL III.

"It is great to be carrying my form from where I left in Bangladesh and delighted to have helped my team win," said Pietersen who came to India after a good series for England in Bangladesh.

Asked about striking form in his second match this season after a not so impressive performance while captaining RCB last year, he said it was difficult for foreign cricketers who are playing for their countries to captain IPL sides.

"It is difficult for current foreign cricketers to captain IPL sides. Because it was a bit of burden for them as they are playing for their countries. I think Kumar Sangakkara is facing it in Kings XI Punjab. Adam Gilchrist (Deccan Chargers captain) is doing well because he has retired from international cricket," said the former England captain.

"I had some difficulty in communicating with local players last season and I could not concentrate much on my batting. I could not understand much about the local players last season and I think it was was a problem while captaining the side last year. That had affected my batting," he added.

Talking about Friday's match, he said Robin Uthappa's stunning eight-ball 22 turned the match in his side's favour. "Robin's innings made all the difference," he said.

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